Election Interpreter 2013
The campaign has provided very little news fodder for defence and foreign policy wonks (and no, last week's announcement from Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowden about improved health care for Defence families, while worthy, does not really count).
This morning's news is a bit more notable: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has signaled that he plans to reshuffle the foreign policy portfolio if he wins government by cleaving Trade away from Julie Bishop's foreign affairs and trade portfolio and giving it to Andrew Robb as part of a new trade and investment 'super ministry'.
According to The Australian, the move would be in keeping with 'an attempt to move towards a form of "economic diplomacy"'. It certainly fits with the economy-first rhetoric we've heard from Julie Bishop in her appearance at the Lowy Institute's election debate and in the piece she wrote for The Interpreter. But the move would seem to cut against Bishop's own strengths in the commercial and trade sphere, highlighted in Andrew Pickford's excellent two-part profile of the Shadow Foreign Minister.
BTW, it was pointed out to me recently that the Opposition's 'economic diplomacy' rhetoric is reminiscent of UK Foreign Secretary William Hague's focus. It's not surprising that the Liberal Party should have taken inspiration from the Tories, but worth noting nonetheless.
Also worth reading is this thorough new analysis of the differences between Labor and the Coalition on aid and development policy, from the excellent Devpolicy blog. (Thanks Danielle.)
Photo by Flickr user ant217.